How is the San Jose sale price to list price ratio now? Is the Silicon Valley real estate market falling into seasonal patterns which may be somewhat predictable? When is it usually the best time to sell or buy in San Jose, Santa Clara County, or Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley  home buyers and sellers all want to know what is the best timing for maximizing the profit when selling or when maximizing how much home you can get when buying. The sale price to list price ratio is an important data point as it indicates market heat generally. Most years, a hot market means overbids (but not always, I’ve seen years when multiple offers came in below the offer price – but that is rare). San Jose makes up about half of Santa Clara County, and that makes it a good place to get a pulse on this seasonal trends.

San Jose sale price to list price ratio graph by month, 2014 – present

Here’s an image of the sale price to list price ratio in San Jose from January 2014 to present. (Adding more years makes it difficult to see where the dips and rises are in the seasons.)


San Jose sale price to list price ratio for single family homes 2014 to present


In the above image, the vertical lines represent January 1st of each year (half of the years had markers indicating where that was, and on the other half I made my best attempt at identifying it).  It’s pretty clear that in many of those years, the low point is at the end of a calendar year – somewhere around November or December. But not always. It’s also pretty obvious that the peak is not terribly long after the new year in most cases: spring.

San Jose sale price to list price ratio: table from January 2010 to May 2021

I created a table for the San Jose sale price to list price ratio and was able to take it back to 2010 (best seen on a tablet, laptop, or desktop, not a cell phone) and pulled the patterns out by the high and low months for the sale price to list price ratio.

If this image is hard to read, please click on it and a new window will open with a larger version of it.


Sale price to list price ratio SFH San Jose seasonal patterns



Here I’ve put in bold the highest sale price to list price ratio in the calendar year and put in red the low point. In most years, but not all, there’s a typical seasonal pattern with the highest ratio between March and May (so think sales ratified between February and April) and the trough in November or December. In some years, there’s a 3 month low from November – January. Overall, it seems that about 65% of the time, our local San Jose real estate market follows somewhat predictable patterns.

In two of the years above, the market kept heating up all year long, 2012 and 2017.

We noticed or felt the market cool in the second half of 2018 and generally in 2019, but 2020 made up for any losses in 2019 (in retrospect, that blip in the market was a great boon to home buyers).

And, of course, we can and do also have outright down years, though we haven’t seen any big ones since before 2013.

Where are we today, on what is hopefully the tail end of COVID? So far, it appears to be that seasonally normal patterns are falling into place. We won’t know until it’s in the rear view mirror, but at this moment, the San Jose sale price to list price ratio has been building since January. And as you can see the chart above, normally that is the case.

One data point, in this case, the sale price to list price ratio, does not make a complete market analysis. It does, though, help to outline general trends of buyer demand and interest. For that reason, I find this helpful, particularly on a large scale such as for a city like San Jose. It’s also useful since it’s not subject to inflation (as would be the case with pricing). Other areas that we could consider are:

  • days on market
  • price per SF
  • median sale price
  • average sale price
  • days to close / length of escrow
  • percent of all cash buyers

Are any of these of interest to you? One I’d love to have is “number of offers”, but most agents do not report this (there is a field for it, largely ignored), so not enough data to be useful. Or is there something else you’d like to see over many years to check on the seasonal patterns? Please drop me a note at and let me know if you’d like more articles like this one.

Related Reading:
The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis (updated monthly)
The Real Estate Report for San Jose (all areas, can change to focus on Almaden, Evergreen, Berryessa, Willow Glen etc.)